A LEAP YEAR is a year containing one additional day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. By inserting (also called intercalating) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.
- Leap Year = Extra Day in the Year
A leap year consists of 366 days, as opposed to a common year, which has 365 days.
- Every Four Years
Leap Year happens every four years, so the next time February 29 will exist on our calendars will be 2016! Like US Presidential elections and Summer Olympic Games.
- History of Leap Year
Ancient Egyptians are smart and figured out that solar calendar and the man-made calendar didn’t match up. It takes the Earth 365 days to travel around the sun, but the Egyptians realized that it’s roughly “365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be exact.” So the extra time amounts to an extra day on our calendar — Leap Year!! Julius Caeser officially added the year into Roman calendars 2,000 years ago.
Women are traditionally allowed and even encourage to propose to men on Leap Year. This tradition dates all the way back to 5th Century Ireland.
- Leap Year Birthdays
There are about 4 million people in the world who have been born on February 29th, and the chances of having a leap year birthday are 1 in 1,461.
Those born on Leap Year are considered “leaplings,” who celebrate their birthdays on either February 28 or March 1 on a non-Leap Year. Famous leaplings include rapper Ja Rule and actor Anthony Sabato Jr.
- Leap Year Babies
Leap Year babies are considered to have “unusual talents” and personalities reflecting their special status. The Chinese believe that Leap Year babies are difficult to raise and unlucky.
- Unlucky Marriage
In Greece it’s said to be unlucky for couples to marry during a Leap Year, and especially on Leap Day.
- Leap Year Movie
Whaaat! If you want to learn more about Leap Year, there’s a movie starring Amy Adams that featured all the traditions of Leap Year!! Check it Out!
- Frogs are associated with leap years!
It is one day of the year when ordinary South Africans can take a leap of action and do something to appreciate and protect one of the most threatened group of animals on Earth: Frogs! These important creatures are disappearing all over planet largely because of habitat destruction.